Sunflower

  • 1970
  • Movie
  • G
  • Drama

In this dull grade Z soap opera, Loren plays an Italian woman who marries Mastroianni only 12 days before WW II breaks out. Mastroianni tries to evade the draft by faking insanity, but this ruse is easily uncovered by officials. He is sent to the Russian front, where the cold weather and lack of food take their toll on the troops. Mastroianni is taken in...read more

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In this dull grade Z soap opera, Loren plays an Italian woman who marries Mastroianni only 12 days before WW II breaks out. Mastroianni tries to evade the draft by faking insanity, but this ruse is easily uncovered by officials. He is sent to the Russian front, where the cold weather and

lack of food take their toll on the troops. Mastroianni is taken in by Savelyeva, a Russian girl, and the two later marry. Years go by, and still Loren waits for word of her husband's fate. He has been declared missing in action, but Loren is determined to find out what really happened. She goes

to Russia, looking through military cemeteries, searching records, and showing Mastroianni's picture to anyone who will listen. Eventually she finds Savelyeva, and finally Mastroianni. Loren leaves him to his new life and returns to Italy, where she marries Longo, an older factory worker who loves

her. The two have a son (played in an undistinguished film debut by the real-life son of Loren and producer Ponti), and the years go by. Mastroianni remains obsessed after Loren's visit, and gets permission from authorities to visit Italy. He and Loren reunite to discuss their past, but her baby's

cry shatters any illusions the two might be fostering. Mastroianni returns to his Russian wife, while Loren remains with Longo. Dull and lifeless, the film takes predictable step after step towards its unexceptional conclusion. De Sica's direction is perfunctory, a shallow effort from a cinematic

master. One sequence has Loren walking through a field of oh-so-symbolic sunflowers as she hopes and dreams of Mastroianni. Loren's performance is lethargic, showing no insight whatsoever to an already cardboard character. This was the first Italian feature shot in Moscow, and the shots of the

Soviet capital are one of the film's few redeeming qualities. Despite the sap that flowed fast and furious between every sprocket hole of this film, THE SUNFLOWER did fairly well at the box office and received an Oscar nomination for Best Score. (In Italian; English subtitles.)

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  • Rating: G
  • Review: In this dull grade Z soap opera, Loren plays an Italian woman who marries Mastroianni only 12 days before WW II breaks out. Mastroianni tries to evade the draft by faking insanity, but this ruse is easily uncovered by officials. He is sent to the Russian f… (more)

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